ALEGrO on track for final spurt
This week saw the German transmission system operator Amprion and its Belgian partner Elia connect up the cables of the first power bridge between Germany and Belgium – at Aachen-Lichtenbusch on the border of the two countries. The project partners installed the final joint of the 90 km-long underground cable that goes by the name “ALEGrO”.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, work on the direct current (DC) link is on track and nearing completion. ALEGrO will technically go into operation from October 2020. The link will be available to the European electricity market as of mid-November 2020. Electricity traders will then be able to purchase transmission capacities across the German-Belgian border at auction and use them for the international exchange of electricity.
Integration of the ALEGrO DC link into the three-phase grid will be incremental both from the technical and the market point of view. Initially, day-ahead capacities will be offered for trading, to be followed by intraday capacities. The allocation of long-term capacities will be possible from early 2021.
Significance for Europe
The 90 km-long power link between the Oberzier substation in Germany’s Rhineland and its counterpart in Lixhe in the Belgian region of Wallonia is capable of transmitting around 1,000 megawatts of power. It will provide urgently needed grid capacities for cross-border electricity flows and at the same time strengthen the security of supply in the Aachen-Cologne region.
The European Commission categorises ALEGrO as one of its “Projects of Common Interest” (PCIs). The ALEGrO interconnector connects the German and Belgian power grids and will play a major role in bringing the European energy markets closer together. It will make the task of integrating renewable energies into the electricity system much simpler and will give consumers access to cheap sources of electricity.